Battle Born – Battle Born EP
Release Date: 26/06/2020
Running Time: 24:16
Review by Beth Jones
So here we are my friends – still in the midst of weirdness, and slowly pushing the boundaries of our sanity a little further every day, complete with lockdown haircuts and all-day drinking! Add in to that a bank holiday weekend at the sweaty end of May, and you would be forgiven for thinking that I may have finally cracked! But thankfully the saving grace in all this madness is, as ever, music, and the new releases certainly haven’t slowed down here at EMHQ. So, I’m cracking open another bottle and settling in for the long haul. I have new music and wine. I could think of many worse ways to spend a Sunday evening!
Tonight’s listening pleasure is brought to me by Battle Born, a Power Metal quintet from the UK, who are about to release their debut EP of the same name. The Power Metal scene here in the UK has always been small, but perfectly formed (a lot like me!!) and it is great to see a host of new bands flying on to the scene, holding aloft the mighty sword of European Power Metal sounds, pulling their flowing manes and theatrical anthems behind them! The inspiration for Battle Born’s Debut EP apparently came from the hugely successful game, Skyrim. Now, I am a bit of a gamer, but alas being a bit old, and a staunch Nintendo girl, unless it has Mario in, it’s not on my radar! However, you don’t need to know the game in order to appreciate good music. So, without further procrastination, let’s talk Power Metal!
Without giving me chance to slurp my wine, the opening track and title track, ‘Battle Born’, burst out of my headphones with all the power and speed that you would expect from a very well healed band of the genre. Beginning with a very regent and full chord progression sequence, it quickly progresses to the gold old ‘riggidy diggidy’ beat so synonymous with Power Metal. Jack Reynold’s vocal are crisp and powerful, whether that be in a clean range, or giving us a couple of screams. I really like that every word is crystal clear. There is also some lovely keyboard work and a great guitar solo in this track. A proper barnstormer to start with. I like!
This theme continues throughout the EP. Classic Power Metal riffs, fantastic vocals, and metronomic rhythms. The addition of some 80’s style Synth in the second track, ‘Bring the Metal Back’, adds an interesting flavour and is a subtle nod to some of the greats. This 80’s feel is continued in track 3, ‘Man of War’, although this is less of a Power Metal anthem, and more Classic Metal. The band’s press release says that it ‘could comfortably have lived on 80s hard rock radio alongside Judas Priest.’ I concur. It comes complete with the sound effect of marching feet – very 80’s, hugely cliched, but perfect! A gold star again here to Jack Reynolds scream just before the end of the song! It’s big! I expect he needed a sit down after delivering it!
Track 4, ‘For Our Home’, slows things down into the realms of Power Ballad (lighters at the ready folks). It is a beautiful and very poignant and thoughtful composition amidst the thumping pace of the rest of the EP.
The final track, ‘Sovngarde Awaits’, starts of in a slow and melancholy fashion, but doesn’t stay there for long! Bringing the whole thing back full circle, it moves at a pace, and explores the full scope of the instrumentation on offer from Battle Born; the dramatic keys of Will Kerr, riffage a plenty on from Tom O’Dell on guitar, and a thumping and thunderous rhythm section provided by Chris Beattie on bass and Charles Lamacraft on drums. And of course, Jack Reynolds vocals.
You can’t help but smile at Power Metal, I find. It’s just joyous. And Battle Born have shown us here that they are certainly in contention to join the Power league with the big boys! Well done chaps!
01. Battle Born
02. Bring the Metal Back
03. Man of War
04. For Our Home
05. Sovngarde Awaits
Jack Reynolds – Vocals (also in Bykürius and Asira)
Will Kerr – Guitars, Keyboards
Tom O’Dell – Guitars, Vocals (Track 4) (also in Dwarrowdelf and Deavhronun)
Chris Beattie – Bass
Charles Lamacraft-Perrett – Drums
Extra guitars from Ethan Bishop (Asira/Bykürius/Cairiss on Tracks 3 and 4)
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.